OTTAWA, Ont. — Industry Minister David Emerson together with British Columbia Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announced the completion of a southbound dedicated NEXUS/FAST lane at the Pacific Highway border crossing.
“The completion of this project will go a long way toward improving the movement of people and goods across our borders, something that is vital to the health of our economy,” said Emerson. “This innovative technology will lead to fewer delays for travellers and area residents while helping to better facilitate the flow of trade to and from the United States.”
The improvements, which began this summer, were undertaken to improve the safety and efficiency at the Pacific Highway border crossing. They include the construction of a NEXUS lane for low-risk users who have passed a rigorous security screening process by both Canada and U.S. customs; a FAST truck lane for registered commercial vehicles; a truck staging area; and a new two-lane road behind the duty free building to give access to the truck parking lot and staging area and to keep non-FAST trucks from blocking the NEXUS and FAST lanes.
NEXUS and FAST are joint Canada-U.S. initiatives involving the Canada Border Services Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. These programs are designed to expedite movement across the border for pre approved, low-risk travellers and goods.
Over $23.9 billion in goods are transported between British Columbia and the U.S. each year by commercial vehicles. The Pacific Highway crossing is Canada’s fifth busiest border crossing – averaging over 3,000 truck crossings per day.
“Road congestion drives up costs and hurts the competitiveness of our goods,” said Falcon. “In the Lower Mainland, traffic congestion costs our economy as much as $1.5 billion a year. These new lanes will improve traffic flow for commercial vehicles, allowing products to get to their markets more efficiently.”
Funding for this project was provided for in the March 2004 federal budget.
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